Tony Vanetti: Man, you got to answer, is there a compelling game left for the Cats in basketball until the month of April?
Matt Jones: There will be one or two. It will be when youâ€™re not expecting it. You know what I mean, you will have Florida.You know they are not very good. There will be no game that you will look at, and go, â€˜Well thatâ€™s a great game.â€™ But what will happen is they will have a couple and then all of a sudden you will look up and its halftime and go, â€˜Hey! I want to watch now.â€™ On paper, there is no great game. Surprisingly Tony, in the latest bracket projection, there is obviously a few teams getting in from the SEC.
Vanetti: Right now, you only have two in the top 25, and of course you guys are number one.
Jones: There arenâ€™t good teams across the country. The reason Georgia, South Carolina, and Arkansas are projected in, is because there are a lot of terrible teams.
Vanetti: Yeah, well you took your shots at Louisville in 2013. You said, â€˜Yeah it was just a down year in college and Louisville won the championship. I mean, this year NCAA menâ€™s basketball is not exactly like a juggernaut. You got UK and Duke and Arizona as like a 2A, right? Or a little lower.
Jones: This year there are two great teams, Kentucky and Duke. And then there are two, and depending on what Virginia is, maybe three really good teams in Wisconsin, Arizona, and then maybe Virginia. It is hard to see anybody winning it but Kentucky or Duke, but you never know.
Vanetti: Alright, you checked your tight ends coach. There was, boy, a lot of talk about you losing your main recruiter there to Michigan. What, did you pay him some more money? Bought him a house? How did that work?
Jones: It is a combination of loyalty to Mark Stoops and liking Lexington. You know when you build something from nothing, I think you can see now they still have not had the success yet, but I think that comes next year. But I was surprised. Over the years if somebody wanted a Kentucky assistant coach, that coach left. This time they stayed, and that is huge.
Vanetti: Will you be interested in Louisville games, attend more than most of your Kentucky games since Louisville is going to have match ups with Duke, North Carolina, top five Virginia, Notre Dame. For the most part, in some of these instances, it is going to be more than what the Cats play.
Jones: Louisville has more interesting games. But Louisville is boring. Letâ€™s just face it, theyâ€™re boring to watch. The way they play, I always thought they were boring to watch. Iâ€™ll be honest with you; I wish Kentucky was in the ACC for basketball. It is a much better league for basketball. You get to see Duke and Carolina every year. That would be great. So, no theyâ€™ve got a much better schedule, but at the same time this Kentucky team we are watching is historical. I do have to ask you, you conveniently skipped over that excellent bowl performance you had against Georgia?
Vanetti: You know, it didnâ€™t go well for Louisville. That stadium has never been good for Louisville. They lost that Belk Bowl a couple of years ago, and Teddy got the crap beat out of him. They physically were beaten by a better Georgia team. That Georgia team is going to get better. I just watched the U.S. Army game on television, and they were tied with the most signees out of that All-American game with 9 players in that game going to Georgia next year, so good luck with them playing in that league next year. You know, Nick Chubb is a heck of a running back; he ran for over 250 yards and that was the difference in it. So, you take a loss and you move on to next year.
Jones: You were watching the U.S. Army game?
Vanetti: Well, hereâ€™s the thing, Louisvilleâ€™s actually had recruits in that game the last couple years, unlike you all.
Jones: Louisville played well for a while in that bowl game, but they were kind of overwhelmed. I know they went 9-4. I never really felt like this year Louisville was all that good to be quite frank with you. I thought they played really well against Florida St. and obviously the win at Notre Dame is something. But that Kentucky game, when I watched that game I saw two teams that were basically the same, but you all have DeVante Parker, was I wrong about that?
Vanetti: Well look, itâ€™s a rivalry game. Itâ€™s the end of the year. You all were playing to get a bowl match, and Louisville was playing really without a quarterback. Again, the emotions were running high. You guys played a great game on that day. Louisville was a better football team. Thereâ€™s a big difference in the talent level.
Jones: If thereâ€™s a big difference in the talent level, why do you only win by four points?
Vanetti: Because thatâ€™s a rivalry game, when Louisville is just looking next to the bowl game, and you guys are playing just to get into a bowl.
Jones: Let me ask you, do you feel the same way about the basketball game? For Louisville that was the biggest game of the year. It was like they were playing in a National Championship, and Kentucky won by eight. But I hear Louisville fans say, â€˜Weâ€™ll play UK man.â€™ But Kentucky was the better team; do you feel the same way about the basketball game?
Vanetti: Well you know I do. Kentucky is a better team than Louisville. And Kentucky should have won by eight, even though it was on Louisvilleâ€™s floor. I donâ€™t make any bones about that.
Jones: In football, I do think Louisville is better, but they are losing a lot of really talented guys. Not just good players, like NFL draft pick players and in DeVante Parkerâ€™s case maybe a top 15 pick. If DeVante Parker is on Kentucky instead of Louisville, do you think Kentucky wins?
Vanetti: Well yes, if you flip that in a tight game, and you flip the best player to the other team, yes. Well, if you can do that in a basketball game?
Jones: I donâ€™t think you can.
Vanetti: You could flip one player from Kentucky over to Louisville in that game, and they would win.
Jones: Oh noâ€¦ I love Tyler Ulis, but if Kentucky loses Tyler Ulis, they still win.
Vanetti: No I donâ€™t think so. Tyler Ulis won that game for you. Now letâ€™s flip umm, whoâ€™s the other freshman who did well?
Jones: Look, youâ€™re missing what Iâ€™m saying. Iâ€™m saying if you flip Kentuckyâ€™s best wide receiver with Louisvilleâ€™s best wide receiver, I think Kentucky wins. Now look, regardless of whether or not that means anything it just means that the talent gap between Kentucky and Louisville is big enough that you could flip one player and Kentucky could win.
Vanetti: Youâ€™re talking about DeVante Parker!
Jones: But itâ€™s still one player!
Vanetti: Look, good luck hating Louisville more this year as a New Yearâ€™s resolution. My resolution is to not pick up my phone more. Okay?
Jones: Tony, I wish you and the Cards the best in 2015 and I hope we beat you for an eighth or ninth time, or maybe a ninth or tenth time if we play in the tournament. VT
01/10/15 at Texas A&M College Station, Texas 1:00 p.m. ET
01/13/15 vs. Missouri Lexington, Ky. 9:00 p.m. ET
01/17/15 at Alabama Tuscaloosa, Ala. 4:00 p.m. ET
01/20/15 vs. Vanderbilt Lexington, Ky. 9:00 p.m. ET
01/24/15 at South Carolina Columbia, S.C. 12:00 p.m. ET
01/29/15 at Missouri Columbia, Mo. 9:00 p.m. ET
01/31/15 vs. Alabama Lexington, Ky. 7:00 p.m. ET
02/03/15 vs. Georgia Lexington, Ky. 7:00 p.m. ET
02/07/15 at Florida Gainesville, Fla. 9:00 p.m. ET
02/10/15 at LSU Baton Rouge, La. 7:00 p.m. ET
02/14/15 vs. South Carolina Lexington, Ky. 2:00 p.m. ET
02/17/15 at Tennessee Knoxville, Tenn. 7:00 p.m. ET
02/21/15 vs. Auburn Lexington, Ky. 6:00 p.m. ET
02/25/15 at Mississippi State Starkville, Miss. 7:00 p.m. ET
02/28/15 vs. Arkansas Lexington, Ky. 4:00 p.m. ET
03/03/15 at Georgia Athens, Ga. 9:00 p.m. ET
03/07/15 vs. Florida Lexington, Ky. 2:00 p.m. ET
01/10/15 at North Carolina Chapel Hill, N.C. 2:00 p.m. ET
01/13/15 vs. Virginia Tech Louisville, Ky. 7:00 p.m. ET
01/17/15 vs. Duke Louisville, Ky. 12:00 p.m. ET
01/25/15 at Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, Pa. 4:00 p.m. ET
01/28/15 at Boston College Chestnut Hill, Mass. 9:00 p.m. ET
01/31/15 vs. North Carolina Louisville, Ky. 4 or 7 p.m. ET
02/03/15 at Miami Miami, Fla. 8:00 p.m. ET
02/07/15 at Virginia Charlottesville, Va. 6:00 p.m. ET
02/11/15 vs. Pittsburgh Louisville, Ky. 8:00 p.m. ET
02/14/15 vs. NC State Louisville, Ky. 4:00 p.m. ET
02/18/15 at Syracuse Syracuse, N.Y. 7:00 p.m. ET
02/21/15 vs. Miami Louisville, Ky. 2:00 p.m. ET
02/23/15 at Georgia Tech Atlanta, Ga. 7:00 p.m. ET
02/28/15 at Florida State Tallahassee, Fla. TBA
03/04/15 vs. Notre Dame Louisville, Ky. 7:00 p.m. ET
03/07/15 vs. Virginia Louisville, Ky. TBA